We’ve decided on a birth clinic for the big day. Originally, I thought a hospital and epidural were for me, but 10 weeks of brainwashing birth classes have made me a believer in natural childbirth. So here goes.

I’d still like to do it in a professional setting though, rather than the apartment. That’s too adventurous for me at this point, having only called it home for a few short months. Plus, poor Carter’s been through enough.

So here’s the plan: The midwife will come to our place when I feel things kicking in. She’ll keep an eye on things and help us decide when it’s time to relocate. The doctor will meet us there. I’ve been assured that in real life, the birth process does not begin with the wife bolting up in bed saying confidently to her husband, “Honey, it’s time,” then racing to the hospital with only minutes to spare before the little one arrives. Nor, in all probability, will my water break in public, say while I’m waiting in line at Ikea. According to, a woman’s water breaks at the start of labor only 12% of the time. Usually it happens along the way. Oh, and birth takes 12-36 hours. Good thing Paul has paternity leave.

Now, I was prepared for a major shopping list if we elected for a home delivery but when presented with the following list of items to bring with us to the clinic, I have to say I was surprised. Baby clothes? Sure. Diapers made me pause. “Homeopathic remedies” are simply par for the course with this midwife (sometimes referred to as “Moon Beam”) and it’s common here for patients to carry their own medical records.  But the entire “disposables” column kind of terrifies me.

For Mother

  • Toiletries, including soap
  • 2 towels
  • 1 long birth-shirt or short nighties
  • Slippers or flip-flops
  • Homeopathic remedies: Arnica 1000 CH, China Rubra MK, Rescue Remedy (Bach Flowers)
  • Hair clip or band


  • Slippers or clean light sneakers
  • Comfortable cool clothes (delivery rooms are very hot), a track suit that doubles as pajamas


  • 2 rolls of kitchen paper towels
  • 1/2 litre plastic water bottle for drinking in any position
  • Net underwear
  • Super absorbent pads for the mother after the birth
  • 1 pack disposable flat pastic padded sheets
  • Nappies for baby (bring max 10)
  • 1 box sterile cotton gauze squares 10 cm x 10 cm


  • 2 towels, +1 for water birth
  • 2 changes of clothes
  • For going home: baby blanket, hat, coat, etc. (according to season), car seat
  • Calendula tincture (for umbilical cord)
  • Small bottle of natural oil


  • Last month’s tests
  • ECG
  • Vaginal cultures
  • Last ultrasound
  • Midwife’s notes
  • Photocopy of blood group
  • Photocopies of identity cards or passports (2 of each)


  • Bottles of water
  • Juice
  • Lots of snacks


  • Camera, video camera
  • Cellphone and charger
  • Birth ball, baby bath


Filed under About Italy, Life

3 responses to “BYO-Diapers

  1. Jennifer

    OK! Are you kidding me? Do they want you to bring your own saline IV too? I am sending extra love and deep breaths to you along with serenity and an extra pretty focus point. I know you are going to do great!!!!!!!! If you can plan a wedding in NYC then you can have a baby in Rome. Paul, I am so glad you do not have the absence of patience like Rusty because I think he would have started a international incident already. If the baby comes after Charlene gets there you have a pro on your side. I just called her yesterday for a nurse/baby question. Jenna is so exited. I am keeping her posted. Lots of Love….. Jennifer

  2. june (cousin)

    I had all four of my kids at home with a midwife. Loved it and wanted to do it totally tribal. I sure read EVERYTHING i could find on the process.

  3. Jan

    Oh yes, the garden looks great!

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